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Report: Iran Has Data to Make Nuke Weapon
The head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog on Sunday described a "shifting of gears" in the controversy over Iran's nuclear program, and said inspectors would visit the country's new uranium processing site Oct. 25.
Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, spoke in Tehran following talks with Iranian officials over the recently-revealed facility that has caused consternation around to world over the extent and purpose of Iran's nuclear program.
"I see that we are at a critical moment, I see that we are shifting gears from confrontation into transparency and cooperation," said ElBaradei as he announced the new inspection date.
"I hope and trust Iran will be helpful with our inspectors so it is possible for us to be able to assess our verification of the facility as early as possible," he added, while sitting next to Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's nuclear program.
The news came shortly after The New York Times reported on its Web site Saturday night that, according to a confidential analysis by the U.N.'s nuclear regulatory agency, Iran has obtained "sufficient information" required to design and manufacture an atomic bomb.
While IAEA staff members declare their findings are tentative and require further investigation and confirmation, their conclusions, said the Times, go further than the public statements of the United States and other governments.
The leaked IAEA report, on top of ElBaradei's arrival in Tehran to arrange inspections of recently-revealed nuclear facility in Qom, "is sure to put pressure on the Obama administration to require Iran to disclose the bigger picture of all its uranium enrichment facilities and allow for inspection," said CBS News Foreign Affairs Analyst Pamela Falk, based at the U.N., "and that runs counter to the denials of secrecy coming from Tehran."